FCC Sending Routers to Volunteers to Test True Broadband Speeds - The UpStream

FCC Sending Routers to Volunteers to Test True Broadband Speeds

posted Saturday Jun 5, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

FCC Sending Routers to Volunteers to Test True Broadband Speeds

Did you know: 80% of Americans don't know the advertised speed of their own internet connection and less than 30% know the actual speed? It's okay though, the FCC doesn't either. Because of this, the Federal Communications Commission wants YOU (and 9,999 other volunteers) to help them test true broadband speeds by sending you a free, special and shiny router to hook up in your house.

The feds are teaming up with SamKnows, who has done a lot of similar work in the UK, to put together a realistic broadband map of the United States, in order to roll-out their National Broadband Plan with facts instead of fairy dust and magic beanstalks.

Together, the FCC and Samknows are setting out to provide US consumers with reliable and accurate statistics of their broadband connections. If you are interested in using one of our units to measure your home broadband connection, then please sign up below. You will get to play a part in changing the face of the American broadband industry and you also get a free high-speed wireless router!

They plan on putting 10,000 of these routers across the country in order to gather as much data as possible.

Once connected to your home network the unit will perform a series of tests at regular intervals during the day, every day of the year, with little to no involvement from you, simple! The results of these tests are then fed up to our reporting engine and combined with the results of others on the same ISP to form a national view of how that ISP is performing. We're even working towards future deployments that will allow us to drill down to regional and/or product performance.

There are very minor and sensible requirements that are in place in order for you to qualify for a router, as well as some terms you must agree to when it's sent to you, like, don't throw it into a woodchipper or reverse engineer it.

They plan on testing for the following things:

  • Single & Multi-threaded HTTP download speed test
  • Single & Multi-threaded HTTP based upload speed test
  • Consumption of the connection - the amount of data sent and received
  • Availability of the connection - when it is unavailable
  • Jitter
  • Latency
  • Packet loss
  • DNS query resolution time
  • DNS query failure rate
  • Web page loading time
  • Web page loading failure rate

Think you're interested? Head over to the link at the bottom to sign up!

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